A Perfect Day For Bananfish
1 Pages 341 Words
“A Perfect Day for Bananafish” was written by J. D. Salinger as a one of The Nine Stories. “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” tells the life of Seymour Glass at a time when he is struggling to find peace in his life after returning home from World War II. Seymour’s struggle emanates from psychological effects of the war, alienation from society and the lack of compassion from his wife.
In the story, a bananafish is a fish that swims into a hole in the ocean and eats bananas. These bananas represent things that are taken and consumed along the journey to adulthood. But, if pursued with too much urgency, these bananas can prevent spiritual development and lead to a greater materialistic development. Seymour and his wife, Muriel, have different views on life; he wants to see a beautiful world of meaning, while she wants to be beautiful in a world without depth. Muriel’s lack of compassion concerning Seymour’s emotional state drives him further to dislike the adult world.
Seymour realizes that he cannot get rid of enough bananas to make further spiritual progress in life, so, rather than waste time, he commits suicide. This is slightly obvious when he is taking the elevator back up to his room on the afternoon of his suicide. In the elevator he has a fixation upon his feet, which do not reassemble childlike feet that he desires to have. Seymour believes a woman in the elevator is looking at his feet and becomes defensive. The women’s scorn attitude towards Seymour encourages him to believe that his suicide will give him the chance he wants, and needs, to start all over again. Seymour willingly takes that chance.
Seymour’s mental state from the war, along with the harsh treatment from adults around him causes his suicide. He is the bananafish who cannot escape the hole and achieve the spiritualism and childlike characteristics that he desires. J. D. Salinger’s use of the image of a Bananafish has more complexity than fi...
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